The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed life as we all know it. International travel is suspended until further notice and countries are heightening restrictions – one by one going into lock-down to try and tackle the virus. This is an unsettling time for communities across the world as we adapt to life within our own four walls, but we are confident that the future of travel is bright and once this has passed, people will travel with more gratitude than ever before. One thing we know is that while we all adapt to life at home, reading and inspiration is going to be vital in keeping us connected to the world. We want to start by highlighting one of the most stunning islands in the Indian Ocean – Mauritius! While the island of Mauritius might appear to be crystal blue waters and untouched white beaches – it’s so much more. From gorgeous mountain landscapes and water-based activities to rum tasting and golfing, the paradisaical island is the perfect luxury getaway.
Ebony Forest Reserve Chamarel
Ebony Forest is a rare find in Chamarel, especially if you fancy a break from the good looking beaches of Mauritius! With less than 2% native forest remaining in Mauritius, the Ebony Forest is a jewel for nature lovers and those wishing to get closer to the island’s native species of wildlife and plant life. Once home to the Dodo, you can discover some of the last remaining rare endemic birds, such as the Mauritian Pink Pigeon and Flycatcher. Hike the raised walkway and explore the beautiful endemic forest, seeing the Ebony trees and the on-going plant restoration work. Whether you want to pass your time in a beautiful landscape, search for silence or enjoy breath-taking views from Sublime Point, the Ebony Forest leaves much to be discovered.
Ile Aux Cerfs
Situated on the East Coast of the island, Ile Aux Cerfs is an islet spread over 87 hectares of undeveloped land, surrounded by beautiful white sandy beaches and an abundance of warm crystal clear blue waters. It is also home to one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, the prestigious Ile Aux Cerfs Golf Club, curated by legendary pro-golfer, Bernhard Langer. At Ile Aux Cerfs, you can spend unforgettable moments exploring the island and serene lagoons. The coral reef is beautiful and full of marine life, an ideal place for diving and to enjoy the underwater world of Mauritius! You can either hire a private speed boat or join a catamaran tour with a delicious BBQ lunch and live music on the beach.
Seven Coloured Earths
Closely situated to the Rum distillery, you can also find the Seven Coloured Earths of Chamarel. These are sand dunes made up of seven different natural colours! This phenomenon attracts visitors from all over the world as the sand ripples with colour. It is a magical experience and highlight whilst in Mauritius. The rains have carved interesting shapes into the hillside, creating this extraordinary effect which visitors have seen since the 1960’s. The best time to visit is just before sunrise or around sunset because of the artistic show of colour and light. Geologists are still fascinated by multi-coloured dunes made up of reds, purples and yellows. The colours never fade in spite of the rainfall. After a visit to the dunes, you can visit the nearby Chamarel Waterfall which is the highest waterfall in Mauritius and the most iconic on the island.
Rhumerie de Chamarel Rum Distillery
When you think about rum, it’s easy to imagine yourself sitting at a little beachfront bar in the Caribbean, sipping on a cocktail, which boasts bold and delicious flavours. But did you know the tiny island of Mauritius is also a holiday mecca for rum tasting! In the centre of a fertile valley, in the Southern part of the island lies Rhumerie de Chamarel. Located 300 meters above sea level, this local rum distillery is one of the few places that grow sugarcane and distill it in the same place. When you book the rum tour, you’ll get to sample eight different varieties from vanilla, coffee, tangerine, and coconut! You can book a table for a late lunch at the Rhumerie de Chamarel restaurant and enjoy the complimentary rum tour. Or, if you do not want to eat, you can buy a ticket and take the tour by itself.
If you can tear yourself away from the tranquillity that Mauritius is famous for, head into the city capital of the island, Port Louis. It is a busy place full of life, colour and fascinating history. Developed by the French from the mid-18th century, Port Louis still maintains the French architecture and colonial buildings of the past. Soak up the hustle and bustle at the ‘Bazar Port Louis’ which translates to the Market of Port Louis. The first thing you notice on entering the market is the wonderful smells of exotic spices, tropical fruits and tasty street food, where a mix of ethnicity, African, Chinese, Indian and French, blend together for a very unique, Creole cuisine. Don’t miss the bite-sized samosas with smooth tamarind sauce, washed down with fresh pineapple and lime juice!
Matt Gannan is the CEO and Owner of Tucan Travel. Tucan Travel operate cultural tours in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, Asia and Europe, as well as tailor-made holidays in Latin America, Africa and Asia.